(Okieriete Onaodowan x Reader)
Word Count: 6033
Request/Summary: No request! (again…). Based off of Ed Sheeran’s Happier
Warnings: Brief diet smut, drinking because of emotional pain, way too many Dirty Dancing references (may or may not have been watching it while writing…) angst, cussing.
Tagging: @satans-little-midgets @imagineham (extra special thanks to Steph for helping me with the title) @gwynstacee @bleepblopbloop56 aaannnddd thanks to @hamilton-noodles most of this fic exists, so thanks, Jo.
Side note- Italics is the past, regular is the present. The present is organized linearly and the past is ambiguous to any specific order.
“Good morning.” Oak’s voice crackled as if he was speaking to you through a phone somewhere with bad reception, still coarse from his full night of sleep. You smiled. You couldn’t be mad at him for waking you up. You couldn’t be mad when he whispered in your ear like that. When you were encased in those big arms of his. When it was just cold enough in the room for you to want to stay close to him and under the mess of covers.
“Good morning.” You muttered back. You didn’t want to leave this moment behind. Not when he had his body wrapped around you, his breath against your skin, the room smelling just slightly of coffee, the covers soft against your skin, not when you were feeling like you were sinking into the mattress more and more with every passing second. You rolled over in his arms, your fingers finding the smooth polyester fabric of his navy colored t-shirt. You fiddled with the hem of his sleeve.
“I don’t want to get out of bed.” You told him, inhaling the scent of his chest- lavender, just like the soap bar you kept in the shower… for yourself.
“Neither do I.” He admitted. You felt him sigh before his lips landed on the top of your head to sit there for just a few seconds. That was one of your favorite things- when he’d kiss the top of your head. He had done it even before you were together and had never stopped. It had become sort of a constant in your relationship. Things would always go back to ‘perfect’ when he kissed the top of your head.
“Did you use my soap?” You asked.
“Oak!” You tried to sound angry, but your words only came out with a fit of giggles as you hit him playfully.
“Hey! There wasn’t any other soap!” He said, laughing along with you. “And it smells good.”
“It does smell good.” You agreed. “The lavender suits you.” There was a breath of silence.
“Woah! Look at your guns!” You whispered, running a hand over his bicep and giggling. He chuckled, his chest moving up and down against your body as he laughed.
“Like you’ve never seen them before.” He shook his head, his hand running absently down your side, over every hill, and down every valley.
“Seriously.” You breathed, “I just want to stay here forever.” Your eyes drifted closed, feeling it. Feeling him. Feeling the covers around you. Feeling the chilled air in the room, caused by the open window. Feeling like nothing else mattered. It was just you and him. Here and now.
“We could just…” He drifted off. “I mean, I don’t have to show up to work for a while.”
“And I don’t have work today.”
“But… responsibilities.” He pointed out.
“You’re so beautiful.” He whispered back.
“You can’t even see me right now.” You shook your head.
“I just know.” He said.
2:40 AM, the most common time you awoke, your eyes were almost glued together by the tears that you had drowned yourself in without even knowing it. You peeled them open and rubbed out the fatigue in them. You spread your arms out in the large bed. It was too big. Too big and too cold. So cold, you woke up shivering and didn’t stop until you picked up the sweater he’d left at your apartment. It wasn’t that you’d forgotten to give it back to him- well, you had… at first. Now it was because you sometimes needed it. You sometimes needed to put it on, drown yourself in the tan fabric. Or hug it for just a few seconds. And sometimes you even needed to cry into it. The loss of Oak seemed to hit you harder than any other break up ever had. After he’d gone, you lost control of your life. Barely hanging onto your job, barely paying rent, maybe the events were tied to losing him, and maybe it was just timing. Either way, if you hadn’t hurt him, he’d be there to kiss you until you felt better, to let you hug him at the end of a bad day, things would be better.
Later that same day, walking down the street, you saw him. You watched as his head fell back with laughter. The type of laugh that only came from a really good joke. The type that made your stomach ache because it lasted so long. His smile was twice as wide as it had ever been, and hers matched it. He looked happier.
He deserved better than you, and maybe she was better than you. After all, she made him happier. But at the same time, he was your sun. You revolved around him, and he brightened everything that happened in your life. You needed him. His gravity tethered you to a steady ellipse. Now that was gone. Now you felt cold, and everything ached. Now it felt like you were losing control. Now it felt like everything was slipping through your fingers, no matter how hard you tried to catch it. But he looked happier. It was like a see-saw. When you’d finally reached your best, he was lowered. But when he’d found his own bliss, you were sinking into the wood chips.
The grass felt prickly against your bare feet, but you didn’t care. Oak’s hands fell onto your waist, guiding your swaying motion. It wasn’t so much dancing as just moving. Moving in each other’s arms. The sweet smell of pollen filled the air, making your nose tingle in anticipation of a sneeze. You felt as though your chest was inflating, expanding, filling with a flickering feeling. Like a butterfly’s wings were beating against the inside of your ribcage. The only lighting was the silvery glow that the moon provided. The stars broke through the sky like tiny pinholes in a pitch black lampshade.
“You’re so beautiful.” Oak’s unshaven chin provided a slight scratching feeling against your temple. The way he spoke always seemed to have a sort of melody, a rhythm, it was like a song- a song that always seemed to be stuck in your head.
“I’m a mess.” You denied, shaking your head slightly. The music swelled in time with your heart, you let a content sigh fall from your lips.
“You look perfect.” He whispered.
“Shh.” Oak interrupted before you could go on, “You’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re anything but absolutely gorgeous- and that includes you. You’re so beautiful inside and out. Seriously, I’ve never met anyone half as beautiful as you are.” You tipped your head up to kiss him, but only managed to reach the point of his chin. “You’re so short.” He teased, leaning down a little bit for his lips to land on yours. The fireworks never stopped with Oak. Every time he kissed you. Every peck, every smooch, every french- an explosion of color and feeling and love. That never had stopped and you never wanted it to.
“You’re just too tall.” You quipped.
“Touché.” He smiled at you for a few seconds, a gleam in his eyes. His brown irises sparkled with a sort of glow you’d never seen in anyone else.
“What?” You asked after a silence.
“‘What’ What?” Said Oak,
“You’re giving me a weird look.” You said. He sighed, a deep, thoughtful sigh,
“I just love you so much.” He finally said, “I feel like I can never love anyone as much as I love you. God. I love you so much.”
“I don’t know Oak, ‘God’ is pretty formal. You know you can just call me Y/N, right?” You joked, smirking.
“I try to be sincere just once.” His words reflect offense, but his tone is tainted by laughter. Once you’d both finished your respective giggle fits, you met eyes. Holding a shared stare for a while, you couldn’t seem to tear your gaze away from him.
“I love you too.” You breathed. You leaned into his chest, his sweater against your cheek. Barefoot on the grass, you danced. Completely alone with your favorite song blasting through a cheap BlueTooth speaker. It was absolute bliss.
You’d only been apart for a month. You couldn’t fathom how he’d moved on so quickly when you were sobbing at a photo of him at least once a week. It hurt to see him with her. You felt your heart was being tossed around every time you thought of him, it rose and fell, swelled and broke, jumped and wrenched apart. It was like a cruel game whatever god there was felt they had to play on you. To make you fall so hard and fast for him, then tear you apart. Only to put him with her a month later. At least he looked happier.
It wasn’t like you expected him to stay heartbroken forever. You knew that he’d fall for someone else at some point. He couldn’t be getting over you for forever. But it would’ve been easier if he was. He got over it before you did, and that was fine. It sure as hell didn’t feel fine though.
You were so much happier with him. You knew it. You were happier with him than you had been in any previous relationships. You loved the way he held you, comforted you, kissed you, cuddled you, talked to you. You loved everything about him- his deep brown eyes, daze-inducing smile, warm personality, deep and full laughter- and still did. There wasn’t a day you’d spent with him when you didn’t smile. And sure, like any couple, you fought. You fought over little things, and you fought over big things, but they always got resolved. You could always look forward to burying yourself in his arms again. Now that was gone. And you missed it more than you thought you could ever miss anything.
“Where are we going?” Oak leaned down to ask you through the open car window.
“You’ll see. Hop in.” He opened the door and sat down in the passenger seat.
“Those are your fanciest clothes?” You asked incredulously, eyeing his button-down, hidden by a sweater, and black khaki pants.
“Hey, I’m not that rich. You can’t expect me to always have a tuxedo on hand.” You sighed, rolling your eyes playfully and pulling out of the parking lot. “And besides, you called me ten minutes ago and said ‘I’m coming to pick you up for dinner. I expect to see you outside in ten minutes in your fanciest clothes.’”
“That’s fair.” You chuckled. Oak busied himself with finding the auxiliary cord and connecting it to his phone, which took several minutes longer than it should have. After he’d finally set everything up, the guitar tune began to play through the speaker. You reached over to turn up the music. You and Oak sang along loudly, the windows opened wide, the wind playing wildly with your hair.
“Oh wherever we go, I hope that you know, that I’m gonna love you for all of my days.” You sang, glancing over at Oak. It was loud, and out of tune and your voice broke, but it meant everything. The line of the song you belted was tangled up in your heartstrings, it carried everything you felt for Oak, the immense love for him that filled your chest. It poured from your heart, reflecting whatever it was that made you grin whenever you saw his face. You pulled into the parking lot and turned off the car, the music stopping with it. Silence.
“Olive Garden?” Oak asked in disbelief.
“Yup.” You giggled. You left the car and met him on the sidewalk in front of it. You ducked under his arm and he happily let it rest around your shoulders,
“Wear your fanciest clothes, we’re going to Olive Garden.” He muttered.
“You love me.” You told him with a dopey grin.
“More than you could ever imagine.” He caved, leaning down to rub his nose lovingly against yours. You opened the door to the Olive Garden.
“Two.” You told the hostess, leaning into Oak’s side. She nodded, picked up menus and silverware and lead you to a booth in the back corner of the restaurant. You both sat down and thanked the hostess. You rested your elbows on the table, planting your cheeks in your hands.
“What are you gonna get?” You asked once he had looked up from his menu.
“Food.” He answered shortly.
“Very specific.” You rolled your eyes, sarcasm dripping playfully from your tone. Slowly, you inched your foot across the ground to his side of the table. You maintained mindless small talk with him as you began to lift his pant leg with the toe of your high-heel. The conversation slowed before coming to a complete stop as Oak raised an eyebrow at you. This was going to make for a fun night…
Burning in your throat, and a taste you’d never enjoyed. But it made you feel numb. It made you forget a little bit. It let you wallow in your pain, and then let ignorance wash over you. So you drank. You sat in the corner of the room and drank. It had never really gotten so bad for you. Never bad enough to be holed up alone getting drunk. This was a new low. A new level of pathetic.
It hurt. You couldn’t lie about that. It hurt to see him so happy. It felt selfish, but you didn’t want him to be happy, not without you. Weren’t you supposed to be content, as long he was happy? That was how it was supposed to be. Being happy as long as he was, was bullshit. It was agony. It was torture. You loved him, but sure as hell didn’t want to let him go. You wanted to hold onto him, tightly as you could, to smell your lavender soap on his chest. But you knew that by trying to hold onto him, you were forcing him to return your embrace. He looked happier. And that should have made you feel better.
His fingers were laced with hers. And the way he looked at her. The way his eyes lit up whenever she crossed into his view- even for just a second. They never lit up like that when he walked with you. They never shone like that when he laughed at one of your jokes.
He looked happier. But was that supposed to change anything? Was it supposed to erase the deep, crushing ache that resided in your heart? It had only been a month. How could things change so much? How could everything hurt so much? You knew she didn’t love him the way you did. You could see it. Sure, she looked just as happy as he was, her smile almost stretched to her ears. But she didn’t love him like you did. No one could. The love that you’d shared with Oak was different. It was something entirely new. It was like a tropical flower sprouting from the cracked soil of some dehydrated wasteland in the middle of the Sahara. Its large pink petals shone so brightly against the brownish nothingness behind it. But while no one could replicate the love you’d had for him- that you’d shared with him, no one could replicate how you had hurt him. Broken his heart. You remembered his eyes, drooping with a crushing weight of pain. You looked at him now, while he was laughing. He looked happier.
His eyes now were so different from the ones that stared back at you that day. Scrunched up with a happiness you had only seen in him once or twice. And how that girl looked up at him, her own smile matching his. She was beautiful. More beautiful than you could ever be, or even dream of being.
You dropped your bag on the floor as soon as you walked in.
“Hey,” Oak said cheerily,
“You sound so happy.” You grumbled.
“That’s an understatement.”
“I’ll make some hot chocolate, you go put your pajamas on. “ Oak said softly. You split directions and you headed for the bedroom, Oak for the kitchen. You heard the microwave beginning to hum as you picked out your most comfortable pajama pants. You stared at the plaid pants before shaking your head and putting them down. Instead, you opted for one of Oak’s t-shirts, slipping it over your head and abandoning your work clothes, besides your panties. You reentered the living room to find Oak standing there with a mug of hot cocoa nested in his hands. You walked to him and took the hot cocoa, but instead of turning away again, you fell into his arms.
“You wanna talk about it?” He asked quietly.
“No.” You said. He took your hand and lead you to the couch, which seemed surprisingly unappealing. He seemed to read your mind and left you behind by the sofa. Walking to the coffee table, he pushed it out of the center of the room. He disappeared into the bedroom and came out with all your bedding in his arms. He dropped it on the floor. After doctoring the mess of blankets, pillows, and duvet into a tempting pile of comfort, he rejoined you by the couch and set his lips on yours softly. His hand ghosted your cheek before taking your wrist again and leading you to the lump of blankets. He settled himself in and held out his arms, prompting you to join him. You carefully laid down in the mass and let Oaks muscled arms encase you, you already felt just a little bit better. He picked up the remotes and you turned your attention to the TV to watch him open up Netflix. He chose Tangled and you cuddled in silence, the opening credits showing on the screen. He kissed the top of your head as the shot zoomed in on the ‘wanted’ poster for Flynn Ryder and you sipped your hot cocoa.
“I love you.” You whispered.
“I love you too.”
Olivia’s hand rubbing up and down your back wasn’t, and never would be, as comforting as Oak’s gentle kiss to your hairline. Jayden’s words could never match up to Oak’s embrace. You almost wanted to call him, to tell him you needed him, because he was your best friend, and you needed your best friend. But that was out of the question. Who calls their ex to help comfort them about their ex?
“He looks so happy with her.” You sobbed. Jayden handed you a tissue and you took it from him, blowing your nose and taking another to wipe a few of the tears off your face. You hated crying and hated feeling weak. But you were stripped to a bare, peeling, skin- the shell that protected you was gone.
“Honey,” Olivia began, “You have to let him go.”
“You don’t get it Liv.” You cried. “I still love him.”
“And if you love him, you have to learn to let him go.” You began to interject but she stopped you, “I know it’s hard. But there’s no other way through this.”
“He’s so much happier with her. It’s only been a month.” You said, voice not half as broken as your heart felt.
“Shh,” Jayden soothed, “One day you’ll feel it too.” You didn’t believe him but kept your mouth shut. You felt like you were at a low you simply couldn’t climb out of. Deep sobs wracked your body, uncontrollable and chaotic. You didn’t think there was any way you could let go of Oak, any way you could be happier than you were with him.
You opened your eyes to the familiar sound of your alarm clock. Immediately to were jolted with a sense of excitement.
“Oak, wake up!” You said, shaking him a little too roughly.
“What.” He groaned, pushing you off of him.
“Get dressed, we’re going to California.” You sang, rising to your knees and doing a little dance.
“Right.” He said plainly.
“C’mon!” You urged, hopping out of bed and pulling on his arm to bring him with you.
“10 more minutes.” He said, easily taking his arm from your grip and rolling over. You sighed. Desperate times call for desperate measures,
“We can shower together.” You purred. He jumped out of bed quickly and slid behind you, wrapping his arms around your waist.
“Really?” He set his chin on the top of your head.
“Yes.” You giggled, “Let’s g-” You were interrupted by a loud crack of thunder and glanced out the window with a frown.
“Hold on.” You muttered. You stepped out of his arms and walked to the bedside table where your phone was. You pulled up google and searched the flight number and airline. Your face fell at the results of your search.
“What?” Oak asked.
“Our flight is canceled.” You said.
“Oh.” He said, “That’s okay, we can still enjoy the time off at home.”
“I’m gonna go unpack.” You said, walking briskly for the luggage you’d packed the previous night.
“Hey,” Oak stopped you with a hand on your wrist. “C’mon.” He led you out of the bedroom and into the kitchen. He set to work pulling out several ingredients from the cupboards and refrigerator, setting them out on the counter. Flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, cocoa, milk, baking powder, baking soda, salt, vegetable oil. He began mixing different measurements of the various ingredients in a large bowl. You watched in silence, a blank expression on your face. You shuffled over to him and wrapped your arms around his torso while he mixed, breathing in the scent of his t-shirt. He stopped to kiss the top of your head,
“Sorry about our trip baby.” You only nuzzled into his shirt, watching him plug in the electric mixer. After fully mixing the batter, he wiped a bit off the side of the bowl, the mixture accumulating on his index finger. Instead of licking it though, he swiped it onto your nose, causing you to yelp in surprise.
“Hey!” You said. He smiled cheekily,
“C’mon, give me a smile.” He coaxed, stepping back to take your hands in his. You stood limply,
“Look, spaghetti arms. This is my dance space. This is your dance space. I don’t go into yours, you don’t go into mine. You gotta hold the frame.” He quoted, correcting your posture. You rolled your eyes and stood still while he began to dance in front of you.
“I had the time of my life,” He sang and you let a small smile crack.
“Never felt this way before…” You muttered, the words running together.
“There’s my baby.” Oak cooed.
“Ha ha.” You drawled sarcastically, noting his wordplay.
“Sylvia.” He called.
“Yes, Micky?” You giggled.
“How you call your lover boy?” He twirled you on his finger,
“Come here lover boy.” You grinned.
“And if he doesn’t answer?”
“Oh, lover boy.” You drew your arms around Oak’s neck, his hands guiding your hips in a swaying motion.
“And if he still doesn’t answer?”
“I simply say, ‘baby, oh baby, my sweet baby, you’re the one.’” You sang, rising to your tip toes to lean your forehead against his. He kissed you, lips molding against yours, hands roaming your hips. “Okay. This is better than California.”
Baby’s head fell back with laughter, Johnny dancing down the aisle on your television screen. And you, curled in a blanket, shades drawn, sobbing. How was it that everything reminded you of him? You turned to look at the mug on your coffee table, but it only reminded you of waking up to Oak standing in the kitchen making coffee for you. You wanted it to stop. You didn’t want to hurt anymore. You were sick of pain. Sick of bailing on your friends. Sick of not being able to think about anything but Oak.
The end credits of Dirty Dancing rolled. Food. Was the only thought that reached you through the crowding of Oak in your head. You stood and stumbled into the kitchen. Finding yourself unable to stay balanced, you stopped and stood still. You wiped as many tears as you could from under your eyes and across your cheeks. You counted to six slowly and breathed in through your nose. One, two, three, four, five, six. Oak had taught you that. You pushed away the coming onslaught of tears and counting to six, you exhaled through your mouth. You walked, more steadily now, to a cupboard and pulled out a protein bar. Considering you didn’t remember eating anything yet that day, you decided that even though you weren’t hungry, you would eat it. You looked around at the darkened and empty apartment. I got this You told yourself. Though you didn’t know exactly what you ‘got’. You shuffled to the window and opened the shade, almost audibly hissing as the light hit you. Well, at least that was a step in the right direction.
Oak drove up to your apartment building, pulling into the empty parking lot. You reached for the door handle and opened your mouth to say goodnight.
You felt Oak’s hand land on your wrist, “Wait.” You turned back to face him. The moonlight shone on half of his face, it illuminated the car through the windshield. There was a silence between you for a while. And for a moment nothing happened. Just stillness.
Oak’s hand left your wrist and came to rest on your cheek. He leaned over the center console to press a soft kiss on your lips. He began to fall back into his seat, but you weren’t sure you were ready for him to leave. You tangled your fingers in his shirt, gently pulling him close again. The kiss became more insistent and sloppy as Oak shifted positions to lean over you. His lips left yours and began to trail down your jaw. Your head rolled back, giving him more access to your neck as he spread his kisses over it. He climbed clumsily over the barrier between the driver seat and passenger. You reached down the side of the seat for the lever that made the back of your seat fall down. Oak followed you as it fell slowly down. He unbuttoned your shirt one button at a time, his kisses chasing his hands down your torso. You stopped his hands with your own. His gentle kisses immediately stopped and he looked up at you,
“I’m sorry, did you not want to-”
“No, no. I want to.” You cut him off, “It’s just…” You pinched at your stomach, ashamed for feeling so self-conscious. “I’m-”
“Hey,” Oak said softly. He didn’t continue speaking until you met his eyes. “You’re beautiful.” He said. He reached hesitantly forward and undid the last button of your shirt once you let him.
He pressed a kiss right to your belly button, “Stunning.” He murmured against your skin.
His next kiss landed just over your hipbone, “Gorgeous.” He whispered as he unzipped your fly.
His lips fell just above the hem of your panties, “Angelic.” He sighed.
He pulled your jeans off of your legs, and pressed yet another kiss to the top of your thigh, “Adorable.” He slid his hands up your legs, gently encouraging you to spread them apart. His lips brushed the inside of your thigh, “Really,” He pecked the other thigh, “really, beautiful.” Oak kissed his way back up your stomach and chest, finishing with a strong kiss to your lips. You pulled his t-shirt up and off of him, dropping it to your side and allowing your hand to run over his chest, feeling every toned muscle beneath your palm.
“So damn beautiful.” He shook his head in disbelief.
“I love you.” You breathed. “I love you a lot. A lot, a lot.”
“I love you too.” He smiled. “A lot, a lot.” He added teasingly. You undid his belt and slid it out of the loops, letting it fall next to his shirt.
You could’ve tried to plow through it with a smile plastered on your face. You could’ve tried to hide the truth. But it was pointless now, you were hurting and couldn’t hide it from anyone. Your mother had been asking why you never smiled anymore, you’d brush her off. Your friends would pester you about never showing up to their gatherings. And your coworkers would question you about your lack of finished work. It was all exhausting, but there was nothing you could do. The more you tried to hide your pain, the more often it would take you over. So you let it show, and that, in itself, was starting to make you stronger.
A walk a day. That was your promise to yourself, even if it was just around the block, you were going to go on one walk outside every day. Three meals, and at least five hours of sleep- no more of that waking up at two AM business. You were going to make this better for yourself. You were going to get better. Oak was your past, and even though you were still in love with him, you had to look forward. ‘Never look back darling,’ you remembered, from one of your favorite children’s movies, The Incredibles, ‘It distracts from the now’.
You leaned over, attempting to push the large armchair into place, but it didn’t budge. Oak, of course, took the chance to playfully slap your ass as he walked by. You stood up straight and gasped.
“That was uncalled for.” You said, unable to hide your smile. “Now help me move this chair.” He chuckled and moved to the other side of the chair to pull it to where he thought it should be.
“A little to the left.” You directed. Oak sighed and moved the chair to the left a few inches.
“Perfect.” You grinned.
“I had the impression that we were working together on this,” Oak grumbled.
“We are.” You said, “I’m the architect, you’re the muscle.” You then collected all the blankets from the apartment and dropped them on the floor next to where Oak had arranged all the furniture.
“Okay.” You started. “We should save all the softest blankets for the inside.”
“Obviously.” Oak agreed.
“And then we’ll use books to weigh down the corners of the roof blankets.”
“Good plan.” Oak said. You set up the chosen pillows and blankets on the floor central to the furniture.
“Will you help me out babe?” Oak asked, struggling to reach where he wanted to lay a blanket. You took one end from his hands and walked away from him until the quilt was taut between you. You weighed down one end with a stack of books and him, the other. You repeated the process until you decided you had a sufficient roof. You crawled inside and Oak followed.
“This is nice.” You said, cuddling into Oak’s side.
“Of course it’s nice, we’re in a blanket fort.”
Your friends had been right. It was getting easier with every passing day. You were okay more, and being ‘okay’ all the time became less of a distant dream. Forcing yourself to go outside, and regain a regular eating and sleeping schedule was helping. But your most helpful medicine had been time. A month turned into two months, three, five, six, eight, a year. You rejoined the dating pool but found that no one ever stuck. You adopted a puppy. A lot changed in that year. But of course, your mind would never be completely free of Oak. He’d been like an earthquake on the fragile town of your heart.
You were rebuilding but forever changed. You didn’t know if it was a good change or a not so good change. Either way, you were different now, stronger, but more alone than ever. Somehow ‘having faith’ that someday you wouldn’t feel so alone, did nothing to help it. But what did help was your puppy, your friends, new neighbors and even the cute guy at the gym you’d worked up the courage to flirt with. Maybe, just maybe, things were looking up now.
You strolled down the aisle, reading the titles of various books as you passed them. You weren’t looking for anything in particular, just something to read. You released a breath, feeling your body relaxing with each step past the shelves. You loved being in the library it had an almost magical effect on you. Your eyes remained glued to the spines of books.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, I wasn’t watching where I was going.” You glanced over at the sound of a honey-like voice, watching as a man knelt down to the floor, he had supposedly run into an elderly woman, hunched against her cane. Perhaps it wasn’t so much that he wasn’t watching where he was going, more that the old woman was so far below his line of sight that he wouldn’t have seen her. The tall broad-shouldered man gathered the books that either he or the woman had dropped due to their collision. You watched, intrigued by the situation.
“I’m so sorry ma’am, can I buy you a coffee next door?” He asked, rising to one knee to hand the woman two of the books he’d just picked up.
“Oh, you’re such a nice young man.” She praised, taking the books from his hands. He smiled kindly at her, “I would love that.” She continued. “What’s your name, honey?” The man rose to his feet to shake her hand,
“You can call me Oak.”
“How cute. I’m Sally.”
“It’s very nice to meet you, Sally, now how about that coffee?” The unlikely pair began to walk down the aisle. The man, supposedly named Oak, turned to make quick and curious eye contact with you before turning the corner behind Sally. You were stunned by his glance. But quickly snapped out of it and returned to the books. You picked up a book that looked interesting and brought it to a chair. You sat down and opened up the book, immersing yourself in its universe.
“Excuse me.” You glanced up from the words to see the same tall, broad-shouldered man from earlier.
“Hi.” You grinned involuntarily.
“I’m Oak, and I want to be your friend.” He said simply.
“I’m Y/N.” You laughed.
“I like your t-shirt.” He said, “That’s why I want to be friends.” He smiled shyly. You looked down at the Luke Cage t-shirt you had on.
“Oh.” You realized. He was a Marvel fan. “Consider us friends then.”
Even though you and Oak were no longer together, never talked anymore or saw each other, you were friends before you were lovers. Good friends. The kind of friendship that just barely teetered on the edge of romance. All your other friends teased you about someday being together, and turns out there was something to their argument. So you fell into the abyss of passion, love, heat, and sweetness to the point of toothaches. But you never lost the aire of friends. But now that was gone too. And even worse, he was happier without you.
It would either be heartbreak or forever. You and Oak weren’t a pair for the ‘gray area’. Two extremes seemed to be the only outcomes. You thought it would be forever, you were wrong. But if she broke his heart, if she hurt him, if she burned him under her magnifying glass catching the sun, you vowed to be there for him. You’d be the owner of the shoulder he cried on, and you’d be the one to tell him that happiness wasn’t as elusive as it seemed. You’d be his friend again. Even though you were still in love with him, and always would be, maybe friendship was enough. Maybe his happiness was enough. Either way, you’d be waiting there for him. For once, you were going to be his gravity, because now, you were happier.